Associations between genetic risk for trait aggression and alcohol use predicting alcohol-related aggression
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A propensity for aggression and/or alcohol use may be associated with alcoholrelated aggression. Previous research has shown genetic overlap between alcohol use and aggression, but has not looked at how alcohol-related aggression may be uniquely influenced by genetic risk for aggression and/or alcohol use. The current study examined the associations of genetic risk for trait aggression, antisocial behavior, and alcohol use with alcohol-related aggression using a polygenic risk score (PRS) approach. Using genome-wide association study (GWAS) summary statistics, PRSs were created for trait aggression, antisocial behavior, alcohol consumption, and alcohol dependence. These four PRSs were used to predict alcohol-related aggression in two independent samples, the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) Family Alcoholism Study (n=1164) and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health; n=4291). Results indicated significant associations of PRSs for trait aggression, antisocial behavior, and alcohol consumption predicting alcohol-related aggression in the UCSF study sample with the most significant results pertaining to verbal aggression. PRSs for alcohol consumption were also associated with hitting a family member, and PRSs for alcohol dependence were associated with hitting anyone else in the UCSF study sample. No significant associations were observed in the Add Health study sample. Together, these results provide preliminary evidence that genetic influence for alcohol use and aggression uniquely predict different aspects of alcohol-related aggression.